What to Expect From the Custom Software Development Process

Many companies shudder at the thought of taking on a custom software development project. After all, there are many moving parts, responsibilities, and requirements for each and every development project. Thanks to the power of custom software development outsourcing companies, organizations don’t have to go into these projects alone. 

The custom software development process may sound a bit daunting, to begin with, but it’s much easier to digest when broken down into its respective steps. Custom software development is an iterative process defined by process stages to implement the necessary features to achieve the desired outcome. These software products are specifically tailored for the users to meet their exact needs. 

Why Develop Custom Software?

There are many reasons why companies choose to have custom software programs developed. The difference between a custom solution and an off-the-shelf product is similar to the difference between clothes purchased from a department store and those that are tailor-made. While they are both wearable options, clothes made by a tailor have a better fit, work better for the individual, and meet their specific needs.

Off-the-shelf software is a commercial product built in a generic manner to satisfy the needs of the masses rather than the individual. These products, such as Microsoft’s Word, PowerPoint, and Excel programs, were developed for a wide range of users and uses. They accomplish the goal but don’t deliver solutions for business-specific problems.

Custom software is built, commissioned, and designed for a single business and unique needs. It’s able to be fine-tuned to the exact requirements of the organization and integrate with its existing programs for easy use.

Understanding the Typical Software Development Process

The Software Development Life Cycle and software development services look a little different when comparing development companies. However, there is a general process that most companies follow to help make projects go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

  • Analysis and Planning
    The backbone of good development is the collection of requirements. During this stage, the development team needs to take the time to understand the position of the company, market niche, business values, and overall plans for the future. The development team needs to do this in order to create the most effective product possible. They will also learn from the strengths and weaknesses of any current systems or products in place with improvement as the end goal.

    They will use this information to define a tech stack and flesh out the features of the product. During this period, decisions concerning the technologies, methodology (whether Agile, Waterfall, or a hybrid of the two), and many important factors are made. This is the time for finalizing the overall project budget as well as an approximate timeline of completion. This timeline should have a bit of breathing room in it should any major malfunctions or errors occur during development.
  • Design
    Once the requirements are fully understood, the software architects, graphic designers, and developers begin to design the software itself. Design plays a huge factor in the success of a software product, especially if it is a web or mobile application. The look and feel will decide just how much people enjoy actually using the finished product.

    The visual design, brand identity, and user experience of the software product play a significant role in its success. For example, if a company hires a custom development team to build an app for their company and it’s difficult to use or a generally unappealing experience for end-users, they simply won’t use it. This is why the design phase of software development is so important.
  • Development
    During the development phase, both backend and frontend development take place. Backend development handles the functionality of the software or web application. It isn’t the things that the end-user will see on the screen itself, but every interaction in the system between humans and computers is possible thanks to it. This is server-side development that is primarily focused on how the site works with user connections, a connection web to the database, and the functionality of the application itself.

    Frontend development covers everything seen by the user on the screen. The look, feel, and design are all generated by code produced by frontend developers based on the design plans. These devs are responsible for seamless user experience and the client-side of the process. Developers work in sprints that are typically a few weeks long as per the Agile development methodology or based on milestones.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance
    Depending on the methodology decided upon at the beginning of the project, testing and quality assurance may occur during development or maybe in an exclusive step of its own. Quality assurance ensures that the software produced during development meets and complies with all of the defined and/or required specifications. It checks to make sure that the product has achieved what was set as the goal in the first place.

    Software testing is the process of looking for any errors or bugs within the software. This helps prevent end-users from experiencing any problems once the product is in their hands. During this time, testers help identify the issues that may keep the custom software from going to the market. It’s worth noting that it is virtually impossible for software to be totally bug-free. Frontend development covers everything seen by the user on the screen. The look, feel, and design are all generated by code produced by frontend developers based on the design plans. These devs are responsible for seamless user experience and the client-side of the process. Developers work in sprints that are typically a few weeks long as per the Agile development methodology or based on milestones.
  • Release and Maintenance
    Once the software has cleared the necessary quality assurance and testing procedures, it’s released. Should any problems or bugs arise after use by a large number of people, subsequent updates or bug fixes may be needed post-launch while in maintenance mode. Maintenance also means releasing software updates for security purposes, software compatibility updates, and other related updates.

    Custom software development helps companies build solutions that work specifically for the needs, wants, and desires of their end-users. Companies should make sure to avoid the common pitfalls of outsourcing their software development needs and partner with a trustworthy and esteemed provider. The process may sound like a lot to handle, but it’s a worthwhile one.

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